Senior security official killed in Lebanon bombing

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BEIRUT — A midday explosion rocked a busy commercial area of Beirut today, leaving at least eight dead and 78 injured in the Lebanese capital, according to official and media reports.

Lebanon’s state-run media reports Maj. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the head of the national police intelligence unit, was killed in the attack.

The bomb wounded dozens of others, sheared the balconies off apartment buildings and sent bloodied residents staggering into the streets in the most serious blast the Lebanese capital has seen in more than four years.

There was no immediate word on who was responsible for the blast. Nor was it clear what site may have been targeted.

The explosion stunned the Lebanese capital, which witnessed a bloody civil war that ended in 1990, and immediately stoked new fears that the explosion could be linked to the ongoing violence in neighboring Syria.

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